The Federation House in Australia Home page

These beautiful heritage buildings are works of Art. They are known by their own names, and are mixed media masterpieces often with fancy brickwork, fine tiling and at best parquetry flooring, with complex skilled joinery, artistic embellishments such as ornate ceilings, beautiful artisan lead light windows and a valued heritage
Federation Excellence
Federation Excellence
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learn more: Video Tours of Federation and Heritage Homes;Latest Posts: Federation Excellence, Whitehall, Sorrento guesthouse, Launceston's Elphin Road, Launceston's High Street, Launceston's Federation Houses, Why buy Federation style?, Art Nouveau Homes (updated),


Quick Picks: Federation Houses Open for Inspection, Desirable Features, Classic Federation Features, Federation Excellence

What is happening to Tasmanian Heritage?

Tasmanian Heritage - mass deletions from the Tasmanian Heritage Register - read the story here


Most Popular Pages in 2015


Great Federation Gardens
Great Federation Gardens

Edwardian Style
Edwardian Style

Edwardian style, Federation Gardens, Cosy Federation Interiors, Federation Queen Anne style, BeecroftFederation Heritage, Picturesque Queen Anne, Adelaide Federation Heritage, Charltons, Federal NSW, Queenslander Tropical styles, Ballarat Federation Heritage, Lal Lal, Ballarat, Deepdene, Killara


Which Federation Style?




Federation Queen Anne Style
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Federation Filigree Style
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Federation Arts and Crafts
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Federation Bungalow
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Read more on Federation House style (jump to article)
[Next page: Four Federation Housing styles]


Federation Homes Open for Inspection:

31 Telegraph Road Pymble
31 Telegraph Road Pymble

53 Telegraph Road, Pymble
53 Telegraph Road, Pymble

6 Black Street, Brighton
6 Black Street, Brighton

191 George Street, Launceston
191 George Street, Launceston
  1. 198 Grey Street West, Albany WA 6330
    in South Australia
  2. 2 Prescott Terrace Toorak Gardens
  3. 4 Balham Avenue Kingswood SA 5062
  4. 33 Esmond Street Hyde Park SA 5061
  5. 88 Kensington Road Leabrook SA 5068 (over $2m)
  6. 162 Cross Road, Malvern SA 5061: Auction 11:00am Sat Feb 20, 2016 (~$1.5m)
    in NSW:
  7. Vermont Terrace, 63 Lower Fort Street Millers Point NSW 2000 Auction: Thu 25-Feb-16 6:00PM, from $2,000,000 - $2,100,000
  8. 162 Great Western Highway, Wentworth Falls NSW 2782 - $650,000
  9. 16 Kingston Street Haberfield NSW 2045 Sold for $2,400,000
  10. 34 Marlborough Street, Drummoyne NSW 2047
  11. Sandon, 31 Telegraph Road Pymble, & Redriff, 53 Telegraph Road Pymble NSW
    (both by appointment, $$$, both State Heritage listed in a street of over 15 Heritage listed properties)
  12. Rowe Cottage, Mittagong NSW; State Heritage Listed: (price reduced)
    in Victoria
  13. 6 Black Street Brighton Vic 3186
  14. Northumbria, 74 Fairview Avenue Newtown, Geelong Vic 3220
    and in Tasmania:
  15. Hargate, 191 George Street Launceston Tas 7250, Registered on the National Estate
  16. 52 King Street Scottsdale Tas 7260
  17. 41 West Tamar Highway, LAUNCESTON TAS 7250
  18. 197 Goulburn St, West Hobart TAS 7000
  19. 16 Elphinstone Road Mount Stuart Tas nr Hobart 7000

Classic Federation Houses

Sourced from three different States of Australia, here are three very different houses, all built in Federation times, but with varying internal styles. Two of these houses have never been sold before in their century old existence.
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Tukurua, (1896) 1-9 Rosendo Street, Cottesloe WA 6011
Recently completely renovated, and possibly sold for the first time to Twiggy Forrest for $16 million,
then again, probably not destined for asylum seeker occupation!
Lugano, Circa 1916 - 17 Victoria Square, Ashfield NSW 2131
Expectations are set at more than $3 million for the grand Federation mansion, complete with original timber panelling, servant’s bell and an original 1917 bathroom.
Glendale, (1910) 1 Barkly Street, Brunswick East VIC 3057
An impressive grand unrenovated 1910 Edwardian home, boasts an array of original period features.

Federation architecture refers to the architectural style of Australian homes built around the decades before and after 1900 AD. (jump to article)

Recommended books:

Click picture or link to find in a bookshop:
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Shop forTHE FEDERATION HOUSE on Google
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Getting the Details Right
Ian Evans
Towards the Dawn .
Federation Architecture in Australia 1890-1915,
by Trevor Howells and Michael Nicholson,
The Federation House:
Australia's Own Style,
by Hugh Fraser
2nd edition, 2002
The Federation House
A Restoration Guide
by Evans,Ian
3rd edition, 2004
The Federation House
A Restoration Guide
by Evans,Ian 1992
The Federation House
A Restoration Guide
by Evans,Ian 1999
Restoring Australian Houses
Ian Evans
Getting the Details Right: Restoring Australian Houses 1890s-1920s

Previous Posts:

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Leura, Bellevue Hill

Architect Walter Liberty Vernon
Alba Longa,
Appian Way Burwood
Milton Park, Bowral
Architects Morrow and De Putron
Architect Harold
Desbrowe-Annear

Recent Posts:

see also : "In the News":

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Federation Fame

Too late ... Historic Arden, in Hawthorn East will be knocked down to make way for a four-storey apartment block.
Too late ... Historic Arden, in Hawthorn East will be knocked down to make way for a four-storey apartment block.

Historic Peppermint Grove property sold for 17.5 m
Historic Peppermint Grove property sold for 17.5 m



Federation architecture refers to the architectural style of Australian homes built around the decades before and after 1900 AD.
There are significant differences:
From Australian Stories Australian architecture

  • "The ornate Federation house, built mainly between 1900 and 1914, was a sign of prosperity - an Australian version of the English Edwardian house.
  • Federation houses were detached, with gardens, and with Australian motifs and a roof of terracotta tiles with detailed fretwork in the roof gables and windows.
  • Many houses had a sunrise motif in the front gable as a sign of the dawning of a new century.
  • Add-ons and renovations with heritage restraints were a constant experience of living in a federation house.
  • By the First World War (1914-1918), there was a shortage of tradesmen and materials. The cost of houses had to be reduced, so the ceilings were lowered to create 'bungalows', houses which were built between 1915 and 1940. Gone was most of the detail, and a plainer style lead lighting was put into the front windows."

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Blackwood House in Melbourne
external image hood_queenslander_web.jpg Sam Hood (1872-1953), Family with car &Queenslander house, 1920's.
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Federation house in Cairns, 1914.

Picturesque and eye catching houses

Federation-style houses constitute a unique statement of patriotism since Federation details used Australia's remarkable flora and fauna.
"For the first time, the flowers, birds and animals of the bush were used to decorate plaster, pressed metal, glass, terracotta and fretworked timber. ." Ian Evans "
  • Decorative features such as gables and motifs adorn the roofs of the property.
  • The rising sun emblem that appeared on countless gable ends symbolised the dawn of a new age for Australia and was itself adopted as a national symbol
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Leadlight windows are also a common feature and as a result, Federation houses are often very picturesque and eye catching." - Archicentre - see below
  • These rambling homes are regarded as the first design style that embraced the outdoor lifestyle. Blocks were deep to allow for homegrown food cultivation.

Since I live in a Sydney suburb with a rich heritage of these houses, I hope to document the details of these and similar houses in these pages. Eventually I hope this site will be a definitive source of Federation decorative detail.
  • Anyone with similar interests is very welcome to contribute to this topic.
  • You can leave comments on my blog Federation Details. To comment here you need to join this Wiki, please.

Federation Features

The features of Federation style architecture include:
  1. Red brick walls of a deep red or dark brown brick, often with a mix of the two
  2. Exposed rafter ends visible under roofs, a characteristic usually visible, not obscured by gutters
  3. Some times the mortar is 'tuck-pointed" to make a ridge of white mortar running along the joints between the bricks.
  4. Dominant roofs,
    often broken by false gables and capped by terracotta frilled ridges and motifs decorating the exterior of the property.
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    Lenoma, (Federation Queen Anne style) 7 Chrystobel Crescent, Hawthorn
  5. Ttimber verandah columns supplemented by elaborate timber decoration, often in art nouveau style -
    "Federation homes are known for their often exuberant timber ornamental decorations.
    Friezes fretwork, balustrades, art nouveau style swirled brackets and arch supports are all common." - Manly Council
  6. Bay windows with shingles, or in large buildings, oriels on upper floors
  7. Leadlight window panes or a set of small coloured glass windows above the main window set.
  8. Low picket fences usually painted white or cream
  9. Large decorative ceilings often of pressed metal or with decorative cornices
  10. Minimal gardens with hedges.
  11. Australiana decorative detail
  12. Outdoor toilets in un-renovated houses
Keep reading... next page: Four Federation Housing styles or below, Federation Style advice

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A common Federation design designed by builders of the period

Image courtesy Manly Council NSW

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HABERFIELD - THE GARDEN SUBURBWHEN Sunday 5 MayTIME 1:30-4pmCOST $10 | Bookings EssentialCONTACT 0412707898 | vacrow@hotmail.comAddress - To be given upon booking.The event will be postponed if there is rain. The creation of the suburb of Haberfield in 1901 was a milestone for the local community, in that it transformed residential development there from a 19th century model to that of a Garden Suburb. This was a milestone for the national community as Haberfield became Australia’s first planned Garden Suburb ‘establishing a model for Australia’s suburban development in the 20th century’. This walking tour will include houses open for inspection, tour notes and afternoon tea